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David Lee Rutledge

September 2, 1955 - December 21, 2017

In Loving Memory


David Lee Rutledge was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky on September 02, 1955 to Levi and Lucille Rutledge who, along with brother James and sisters Linda Payne and Debbie Sue Botner, preceded him in death.  In life, David leaves the love of his life, Stacy Leigh Rutledge, along with step-daughters Christine Rehse (William) and Alisha Fox (Mark); grandson, James Vernon Fox; brothers and sisters in law, Danny and Victoria Hitt and Ronald and Juanita Hitt and nephews Andrew Payne, Jason Botner and Chris Reeves. David also leaves the many friends, colleagues and team members that he had the pleasure of knowing and working with throughout his personal and professional life.


David received his Bachelor of Science (1976) and Master’s Degree (1977) in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.  His career in the semiconductor industry began at Harris Corp., in Melbourne, Florida.  In those early years David had big hair and big ideas for the future of technology. He envisioned designing computer chips that would revolutionize the industry. Making a risky and life changing decision, David joined a small startup technology company in Hillsboro, Oregon.  He chose the company, Lattice Semiconductor, based on the belief that his vision for the future would have the most impact through Lattice.  On Dec 21, 1983, David flew to Oregon to begin his career at Lattice. Exactly 34 years later, on December 21, 2017, David collapsed during his early morning routine run on a treadmill.  Despite the immediate and compassionate actions of people at the gym, EMTs and many doctors and nurses, David’s heart had beat for the last time.


The doctors declared how unusual it was that they could not get David’s heart restarted. Usually they said, they don’t lose a man of David’s age with seemingly excellent health.  Had they known David, they would also have known just how special he was.


David was a man of many talents and aspirations. He was an avid runner who hated running, but loved the routine and discipline it provided. He inspired those around him with his confidence and vast knowledge, he could bring a smile to a room with his dry wit and consistently, without hesitation, put the needs of others before his own. He never shied away from a challenge or adventure. From Formula One racecar competitor to devoted husband and step-father, from traveling the world to learning to snorkel at 62, he generously put his all into what he was doing and never looked back.


Throughout his illustrious 34-year career at Lattice as well as throughout his entire life, David worked selflessly to bring his visionary ideas to reality; to help anyone who needed his help, guidance and support; to provide a solid foundation for his family, and, above all, to always do the right thing. David lived by his commitment to do something, whatever it was, right. Doing it right included being a hard-working and committed team player.  His fierce loyalty to all teams and team members on every team he was on, both personally and professionally, was one of many attributes that made David a great leader and a great man.


David’s death came one day before his planned retirement from Lattice.  He and Stacy were looking forward to enjoying more leisurely travel, biking and “free time” together after his retirement, at least for a while.  Those of us who knew David know that after a nice relaxing vacation, David would be right back, although at a slower pace, to his rightful place at the front of the room; enticing, motivating and educating us with his vast knowledge, ideas and presentation ability, aided by the perfect charts, drawings and explanations he created to add visual explanation to his presentations.  We are sure, Professor David Lee Rutledge would have re-emerged.


In honor of David’s respect for higher education in the field of electrical engineering and his life changing innovative contributions to technology, a scholarship fund has been created. In its first year, the scholarship will provide financial assistance to bright and inquisitive young people who desire to become excellent electrical engineers by enrolling in the one-year Master’s Program in Electrical Engineering at Purdue University.  David’s Memorial Service will be held at the Marriot Courtyard Hotel in Portland, Oregon on January 3rd, 2018 from 2 – 4 pm with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, please consider helping David’s generosity live on by contributing to the “David Lee Rutledge Scholarship Fund”. Checks made out to the fund can be sent to 949 NW Overton St. Unit 1315 Portland, Oregon 97209.

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